Ever Wonder What a Real Christian is Like?

They are like this:

“I forgive you,” said the daughter of 70-year-old Ethel Lance to the 21-year-old man who allegedly murdered her mother in church and appeared at an emotionally charged video court appearance in Charleston on Friday afternoon, two days after a horrific mass shooting here…

…“You took something very precious from me, but I forgive you,” Lance’s daughter said through tears. “It hurts me. You hurt a lot of people, but may God forgive you.”

This is what it means to be Christian – to take up the cross and follow Jesus. This is difficult. None of us know ahead of time if we can really do it (and, at all events, it is Jesus who really does it for us – we just consent to His action).  And if the man repents of his sin and asks for forgiveness then as far as Christians are concerned, that is a done deal. Sure, he still has to pay the price of the world for his crimes – which might end up being the surrendering of his life – but no Christian will have a word of condemnation to say about him. He’d be just another brother in Christ, in spite of his crimes.

So, for you secularists out there who denigrate Christians who sin and then ask forgiveness – we’re serious about this. It is for real. We’re not just using our “invisible sky god” to get off the hook. This is how Christians are and always will be.

Laudato Si: My Take On It

As a Catholic, first and foremost I urge everyone to actually read what is written – do not trust MSM summaries of it and don’t take the word of those who have a particular axe to grind. Read it yourself – decide for yourself what it all means. Encyclicals are meant to be read; prayerfully and with mercy and charity. But, also as a Catholic, permit me to speak a bit about it. Here are just a few bits I’ve looked over so far.

The first thing which caught my eye is this:

Pope Benedict asked us to recognize that the natural environment has been gravely damaged by our irresponsible behaviour. The social environment has also suffered damage. Both are ultimately due to the same evil: the notion that there are no indisputable truths to guide our lives, and hence human freedom is limitless.

This is an important thing to say – we are not actually entirely free agents. Our freedom granted by God can only be properly used when we are voluntarily choosing to do what is right. It is true that we can choose evil – that is built into our free will…but when someone chooses to do wrong, that is not an act of freedom. It is, actually, an act of self-slavery – someone riveting chains of servitude upon himself. There are indisputable truths to guide our conduct and we ignore this at our extreme peril.

Continue reading

Trump

So the megalomaniac has finally stepped up and entered the POTUS race, something of which he has been saying he would do for quite some time and I have to say from a business standpoint, I am intrigued. I was a big Romney supporter for this same reason and that is I would like to see a successful CEO run this country like a company, not a daycare. Trump had a good line yesterday when he said that the “brand” of the US needs to be great again and I like that train of thought. This country needs to win more often in the negotiating room and on the battlefield. We need to care more about what we think about other countries and less about what they think about us. And make no mistake, Trump has been very successful negotiating with other countries and politicians through the myriad of overseas ventures he runs and other countries are very aware of where he stands and how tough he is to compete with.

I find it amusing how the MSM and progressives are bashing Trump over his ego, yet they found the same quality in Obama to be inspiring. Remember when Obama was proclaiming his election was the moment when the seas began to recede and the planet began to heal? Obama has a worse egotistical problem because his massive ego is not supported by any great accomplishment. And no – lying through your teeth to win the POTUS election is not a great achievement. Trump’s accomplishments are obvious and well known. It will also be hard to bash Trump over his wealth considering the MSM’s admiration of Bill and Hillary’s recent accumulation of wealth.

All in all, I think Trump’s entrance into the race will be interesting. He does not have to raise funds or pander to any narrow constituency. He is able to speak his mind freely, and if he offends someone or causes someone to have to go to his or her “safe space”, then I will like him even more. It’s time this country has an adult conversation about who we are, the mess we are in, and what it will take to emerge once again as a country respected and feared by the rest of the world.

Why Progressives and Conservatives Can’t Get Along

From WeirdDave at Ace of Spades:

Of all the pathologies that the Left engages in, I know that the inability to simply accept reality as it is is one of the things that can drive conservatives nuts faster than anything else. It’s easy to see why: conservative politics are based upon reality and are focused on finding the optimal solution to any given problem, and as such establishing the reality of any given situation is fundamental to the process. Proggy politics are based upon emotion, reality isn’t so important as long as the proposed course of action makes them feel good about themselves. The welfare state is a perfect example of this. To a conservative, it’s a disaster. Generations of institutionalized poverty and soul crushing dependence on government, the destruction of the nuclear family, cycles of poverty that continuously worsen while costing more and more money every year. They rightly demonstrate that reality proves the welfare state an utter failure and want to change it.

To a prog, however, the welfare state is the greatest thing since sliced bread. Crime, poverty, hopelessness, despair and all of the rest of the myriad disasters that come with a modern welfare state….who cares? The welfare state makes them feel good about themselves, and allows them to pat themselves on the back about how “kind” they are, and the best thing is they don’t have to do anything themselves to feel this way! THEY don’t have to meet any icky poor people. THEY aren’t forced to interact with minorities. Let the government do it and observe how benevolent they are, sailing along smugly, secure in their unearned moral superiority.

I was out in California this past weekend and it suddenly occurred to me that the California legislature was recently debating two proposals:

1.  Allow doctor-assisted suicide.

2.  Raise the smoking age from 18 to 21.

So, Progressives are so deeply concerned about your well being that even though you’re an adult who can fight in a war, marry (anyone you like!) and sign contracts, they won’t let you smoke. On the other hand, once you get a little along in years – or have a budget-busting chronic disease – they’ll “help” you into the hereafter.  The Progressive world is a world in which a Nanny watches over your every move – and then kills you when you become too troublesome (oh, sure it’s all voluntary…and there won’t be any chance that family members, doctors and bureaucrats will kinda nudge you in the direction they want you to go…)

Maybe its because I’ve been smoking for 35 years (sorry, liberals – still astonishingly healthy: even with the bacon-double-cheeseburgers and the smoking…and if I do quit then I might be here to annoy you for 4o more years or so…muhahahahaha!…on the other hand, that does mean I might have the depressing duty of writing about the Chelsea Clinton/George P. Bush Presidential contest…), but I don’t care if people smoke. Certainly not anyone 18 or older.  I also don’t want to off people because they are sick or old; I’d rather try to help them. There are things we can do besides kill them, after all. The bottom line is that my world view is 180 degrees out of sync with the Progressive world view…and I believe that goes for all of us on the right. We just don’t see things the same way.

And it does have a bit to do with cold, hard facts – our Progressive friends in the Reality-Based Community do seem to have a problem with facts.  Facts such as policing the smoking of people 18-21 is rather impossible (I think that younger folks are not smoking so much lately is not due to laws against it, but because smoking is just going out of fashion).  Facts such as human nature is unchanging and if you give people a chance to get rid of an inconvenient person, some people will take advantage of it.

There is no real bridging of the gap between left and right. We can’t work across the aisle. I won’t agree to a compromise where the smoking age is raised to 19 years, 6 months and 4 days. I won’t agree to a compromise where we can help the sick commit suicide as long as everyone pinky-swears it is what the sick person wants. Our way out of this is that ultimately facts emerge triumphant – you really can’t keep borrowing money forever. You really can’t have open borders forever. You really can’t sustain an education system which wants “safe spaces” and to stop “micro-aggression”.  It all falls apart – with the good news being that we on the right, who live on facts, will come back on top eventually.

Orwell Was Only Off by 31 Years

Just wow – from The College Fix, which I am assured is not a satirical website:

“America is the land of opportunity,” “There is only one race, the human race” and “I believe the most qualified person should get the job” are among a long list of alleged microaggressions faculty leaders of the University of California system have been instructed not to say.

These so-called microaggressions – considered examples of subconscious racism – were presented at faculty leader training sessions held throughout the 2014-15 school year at nine of the 10 UC campuses. The sessions, an initiative of UC President Janet Napolitano, aim to teach how to avoid offending students and peers, as well as how to hire a more diverse faculty…

…Other sayings deemed unacceptable include:

● “Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough.”

● “Where are you from or where were you born?”

● “Affirmative action is racist.”

● “When I look at you, I don’t see color.”

These phrases in particular are targeted because they promote the “myth of meritocracy” or represent “statements which assert that race or gender does not play a role in life successes.” Others are said to be color blind, apparently a bad thing that indicates “that a white person does not want to or need to acknowledge race,” according to the handout, “Tool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send.”

If you’re thinking of going to college, I suggest a career in plumbing or farming – something which doesn’t require a person to be immersed in a place which says that meritocracy is racist.

The good news is that this sort of nonsense just cannot stand for long – the people who are de-educated in such a setting will simply not be able to compete in the real world and so those who managed to get a real education will outplay them for life’s rewards…

Can America be Conservative?

You wouldn’t think so, if you listen to the MSM all the live long day. As far as that goes, the MSM Narrative is that one or two aged Christians are all that stands between us and the Progressive Utopia of $15 an hour minimum wages and daily flights bringing in foreigners who will be able to vote from age 16 on. On the other hand, 84% of the American people back a ban on late-term abortions – including 69% of those who identify themselves as “pro-choice”. In other words, this increasingly Progressive America has some how or another managed to latch on to a key aspect of Conservatism – respect for the inalienable right to life enshrined in both our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution. I fully expect a ban on late term abortions to happen before I die – and I expect that one day abortion will only be permitted when it really is crucial to save the life of the mother. The tide in America is set on pro-life. How did that happen?

Patience and charity played a huge roll. We can’t just change a person’s mind overnight. It takes a while – and you also can’t change a person’s mind if you’re being uncharitable to them…that is, condemning them, scorning them or otherwise indicating a distaste for them. While from time to time a rather zealous firebrand would come to the fore in the pro-life movement, it was pretty obvious that such people were (a) kinda shoved forward by an MSM which wanted people to think that pro-life people were like that and (b) they weren’t really representative of the pro-life movement.  It was hard to characterize the pro-life movement as bad when it was almost always people quietly praying and offering counsel and assistance to women in need. It was also rather crucial that being pro-life was, is and always will be to be in favor of not just something good, but something so obviously good that even the most inattentive can see the merit of your case.

Another case of us winning is on the gun control debate. When I was a kid, it was the “thing” as much as being pro-choice was. Of course everyone wanted strict regulation of guns. But by being patient and being charitable and being in favor of something that is obviously good – the right of people to defend themselves – the right to bear arms movement has triumphed. Oh, to be sure, our Progressives are still keen to take away the guns – but they are just as keen to provide federally funded abortion on demand, too…but they won’t get it and they dare not speak their desire openly, because they know the debate is over and they lost. Only in the very deepest blue areas of the country can Progressives proclaim their desire to have taxpayers pay for abortion and to confiscate all weapons. On the national stage, they have to be in favor of “choice” in abortion and “common sense regulation” of weapons.

So, as we can see, conservatism can win – we can conserve things; the right to life and the right to keep and bear arms. We can also conserve things like property rights, the family and the free exercise of religion, as well – but only if we go about it with patience and charity and carefully selecting our issues so that we are defending what is obviously good. Leaving aside family and the free exercise of religion, let’s use property rights as a means of illustrating how we’re doing it wrong.

At bottom property rights are the fundamentally conservative thing in economic policy. The right of a person to own what he or she makes or inherits is what we’re supposed to be about. But what we do is essentially winding up defending money – we do it by defending capitalism, as a thing, and the net result is that in the public mind, we’re defending those who have bags of money. And the really irritating thing about that is that while we’re in the public mind defending the wealth of robber barons we’re actually defending the wealth of Progressive billionaires who use their money to undermine the things we actually must defend – property rights, the family and the free exercise of religion.

We can’t win the fight to save property as long as in the public mind we’re defending billionaires and multi-national corporations. In point of fact, someone who has billions of dollars and a corporation as large as, say, General Electric is a negation of property. General Electric is a behemoth making a few people very rich. A billionaire doesn’t have property like, say, a farmer or small retailer has property. A billionaire has investments and interests and wants to defend them – and will use his wealth to ensure special dealing for his investments and interests (and large corporations do the same). A farmer just wants his farm to work. A retailer just wants his store to be profitable. Do you see the difference?

To win the fight to save property rights, we have to champion those who actually have property – not those who have buckets of money. In fact, we have to stand athwart those with buckets of money…because a key thing for us to conserve, if we are indeed conservatives, is the bedrock, “small r” republican concept that any great concentration of power is a danger to the Republic. Large amounts of money under control of one person or a few people are dangerous concentrations of power…just as much as any large government bureaucracy. We have to be seen as curbing the power of billionaires and large corporations – and our battle ground would be best defending small business operators and other small property owners against the regulations of government, often done at the command of large corporations and billionaires who are trying to use government power to protect themselves.

What I’m talking about is well illustrated by a proposal from Senators Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and Susan Collins (R-ME) to regulate soap – specifically, a requirement for soap makers to register with the FDA any time they change their ingredients. This will not adversely affect  large soap manufacturers – they only rarely change their ingredients and the economies of scale allow them to easily absorb the cost of new regulations. But small soap makers who can’t buy ten tons of their ingredients at a time and, at any rate, might just decide to, say, put a little more of Ingredient A into their soap can’t afford the freight. The big soap manufacturers are entirely behind this proposal – from Procter and Gamble to Revlon and everything in between…because they know full well it will drive a lot of small competitors out of the market, thus increasing their profit margins. We should be taking up the banner of the small operators against the big players…people will see, easily, that we are on the side of the good guys. And we’ll make our point that property rights are something worthy. A battle over this – and similar battles that come up – will allow us to cast ourselves as the defender of the little guy…and will show up Progressives like Feinstein and Collins for what they are: tools of the rich.

Other things that are obviously good can be defended, as well. The family, for instance. Don’t get wrapped up too much in some of the debates currently raging. They are trivial. But in Nevada the governor recently signed a law which empowers families to control the education of their children (it has to do with Education Savings Accounts which allow parents to easily save money to pay for private education). That is obviously good – in defending such a thing as that, we’re defending the ability of strong, responsible parents to be deeply involved in their children’s education, rather than having faceless and corruptible bureaucrats decreeing from on high what sort of education the kids will get. The difference here is not in attacking the public school system, which only allows Progressives to absurdly (but effectively) paint us as anti-education – we’re not attacking anything; we’re just empowering people to do for themselves, if they want. And in doing this we’re also defending family, as a thing. We’re not saying what is a family, at all – we’re just saying that families have rights and privileges that are worthy of defense. And that is a winning way to approach it – because no matter how crazy it gets out there, most families will remain what they have always been…mom and pop and the kids.  And in defending that, we’ll set the cultural stage for a revival of all the things which go along with strong, independent families. And into the bargain with our defense of strong, independent families is a death blow to Big Government: the more power we secure for families, the less power there necessarily will be for government to exercise. Think what happens to government mandates in education once, say, even 25% of the kids are being educated as their parents wish in institutions the government has no control over?

I guess if I had to nutshell it, the revival of a conservative America depends upon us finding the good things we want to defend, and then going out there an defending them without acrimony. People do wish to be fair  and if we’re defending what is fair, we’re going to win.

 

 

 

Saturday Open Thread

Today is June 6th – which means that 71 years ago, we invaded Normandy. Take a moment to remember those brave troops. As an aside, though, upon looking at it in the hindest of hind sight, I think we should have invaded at the Pas de Calais. Sure, the Germans had more there, but not that much more and if we had got ashore there – and we would have, given our absolute command of the air and sea – then Germany might have been defeated by October of 1944. Oh well – just keep it in mind if Putin decides to conquer Western Europe and we have to go back, again.

The New York Times is breathlessly reporting that Marco Rubio has four traffic tickets since 1997 – and Mrs. Rubio 13. They are swearing up and down that they dug this up by themselves – but there is strong evidence that it was spoon fed to them by one of Hillary’s political smear groups. This is an entirely irrelevant fact which is not worthy of being reported. It would only be an issue if, say, the Rubios’ tried to use their influence to squash the tickets. That didn’t happen, and so there’s nothing here for people to care about…but the MSM reported it, and we can only assume they did so because they were ordered to by Team Hillary. Think about it – you’re wasting a lot of time and effort reporting something like this – why do it? It’ll be like this all through the 2016 cycle. Hopefully we’ll win – if for no other reason than it’ll finally get the nauseating Team Clinton political machine out of our lives.

Murderous sniper on the loose in Colorado? We don’t know, yet – but it is possible.

Crime is rising in New York City – its almost as if having a soft-on-crime Progressive as Mayor isn’t such a good idea.

Black Chicago pastor not entirely happy with the Democrat Party. Hopefully this entirely correct sentiment will continue to grow in the African-American community.

Democrats don’t like the idea of over the counter sales of birth control. The bottom line is that if women are empowered to make their own choices without a government program, then there is zero need for government. Being in favor of choice is all well and good, but if it doesn’t mean a large, expensive government bureaucracy, then maybe its better we do without it, huh?

The Greeks are still financially screwed – and I have little sympathy for them. From what I can tell, the Greeks don’t want to pay their bills, which is something I agree with. If stupid bankers want to loan people more money than they can possibly repay, then the bankers are just going to have to take it in the shorts. But the Greeks don’t want to repay while still getting buckets of new money to keep their Welfare State going – in other words, they don’t want to go the route of poverty plus hard work to get themselves out of the jam they got themselves into. Pick one thing or the other, Greeks: either pay back what you borrowed or default and be poor for a while as you work yourself back to wealth.

State says they are preparing to investigate the Hillary e mail scam – and I believe them. And I believe their preparations will be complete no later than December, 2016.

ISIS fighter goes on social media to brag about how great their command center is. 22 hours later, the US Air Force blows the place to smithereens. Which is a good thing – but I doubt the wisdom in the Air Force telling us they used social media to find the target…now not only will ISIS have learned a lesson in security, but they might sucker us into blowing up a school or hospital via social media.